Monday, June 24, 2024

Give the gift of Counselling

Grief Support Services are reaching out to the local community to ask for support in giving the gift of counselling this Christmas during their annual donation appeal.

“Our aim is to increase the number of counselling sessions offered and to reduce our wait times,” says Funding Manager, Jen Murray. “This will mean that we can help more people to manage the turmoil of grief and loss and attain their aspirations for their quality of life.”

To achieve this, Grief Support Services have set an annual goal of $40,000.00 to be raised through alternative funding strategies. This translates to an additional 339 sessions or an extra 85 individuals or families/whānau supported.

“We are grateful to have welcomed corporate sponsors on board to contribute to our goal,” says Jen. “The Christmas donation appeal allows the wider public an opportunity to contribute to our annual fundraising efforts.”

For a percentage of the population their circumstances mean they can find ways through their grief without professional support. However, for many others this is not the case and they may feel caught in a complicated, confusing, overwhelming, exhausting space. Finding a way through can be a difficult task. The counsellors at Grief Support Services offer sessions to help individuals and families/whānau talk about their loss and grief in a caring way to help make sense of, and manage, the changes that are taking place.

While the organisation cannot share client stories due to their code of ethics, feedback received through their post counselling survey highlights the positive effects that the service provides. As a result of the counselling, clients report such changes as feeling calmer; daily life being more manageable; being better able to participate in family/social/work life; having new skills to help them through difficult times; and being more inclined to speak up for themselves.

“The support and compassion helped immensely to bring me forward to a point of well-being and being happy to be alive again,” says a previous client. “No words can show my appreciation for the Counsellor who is passionate about their career and helping people. I will forever remember them as being a turning point in my life. Thank you to the Counsellor and Grief Support Services – you are much needed.”

In their last financial year, philanthropic support contributed to the service providing 2,634 grief and loss counselling sessions, offering counselling support for 605 individuals and families/whānau and providing information and support to the community. To fund their service, they ask clients to donate towards their counselling sessions but much of their funding currently comes from philanthropic sources such as gaming organisations or local trusts. Their services related to suicide bereavement support are fully funded by Te Whatu Ora – HNZ.

All donations over $25 can choose to receive a set of 15 custom designed gift labels (while stocks last). Artwork has been designed for the service by local Tauranga artist Paulene Longley from Flossiphy – Watercolour Artist, Surface Pattern & Fabric Designer. @Flossiphy.Art

For more information on Grief Support Services or to donate please visit

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